Ending the military use of schools….

From the INEE newsletter and linked to the last post on protecting education from attack

Norway: Leading Way to End Military Use of Schools
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

On June 13, the Norwegian Government released a white paper on global education, announcing its support to education in crisis and conflict. The key priorities listed in the white paper include: disaster risk reduction in the education sector, protecting schools in countries affected by armed conflict, and promoting the goal of reaching 4% of global humanitarian aid to education.

Norway has proposed leading a process to finalize what are currently known as the Draft Lucens Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use. The Guidelines urge parties to armed conflict not to use schools and universities for any purpose in support of the military effort. All parties to armed conflict should endeavor to avoid impinging on students’ safety and education.

“Norway’s commitment to championing the Guidelines represents a milestone in the journey towards securing safe learning environments for all students, including those most at risk of being denied their right to education: children and young people living in war zones across our globe,” said Diya Nijhowne, Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack Director.

Click to read the white paper (only in Norwegian at this time) and to find out more about Norway’s leading role on implementing international standards for protection of schools.


The Role of Communities in Protecting Education from Attack

There were times when conflict was directed at the military and military establishments, now it seems that schools, hospitals and markets are the targets of choice in many of today’s conflicts. Can we help to protect them?

The Role of Communities in Protecting Education from Attack

Global Coalition for Protecting Education from Attack

GCPEA’s new study, The Role of Communities in Protecting Education from Attack: Lessons Learned, examines how organizations supporting education programs have engaged communities to protect schools, students, and teachers in countries experiencing attacks on education. GCPEA has documented a pattern of attacks in 30 countries in the last five years.

The report is intended as a guide for people working in the field. In it, GCPEA urges international and local organizations to seek guidance and input from affected communities when working to prevent and respond to violent attacks on education.

To read the full report, please click here.

Day of the African Child

On the Day of the African Child, two new reports spotlight out-of-school children in Africa
UNICEF Education

The Day of the African Child is celebrated on June 16th to commemorate the day when, in 1976, thousands of black school children in Soweto, South Africa, took to the streets to protest the inferior quality of their education and to demand their right to be taught in their own language.

On this occasion, the Global Out-of-School Children Initiative, a partnership between UNICEF and UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics (UIS), just launched two new regional studies (East and Southern Africa and West and Central Africa) on out-of-school children.

The reports provide profiles of out-of-school children and showcase a series of country case studies to better identify the ways in which poverty, location and social norms can act as barriers to education. By presenting a range of data, the reports propose a series of recommendations to overcome the most pervasive sources of inequality and reach the most marginalized children.

Please also take a look at our:



Information and resources from HREA (Human Rights Education Association)

Selected learning materials

Child Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation
One of four modules developed by the Child Labor Research Initiative of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (Iowa, USA), this module contains four highly flexible and adaptable lesson plans appropriate for high school students. Teachers can teach a lesson within 1-2 class periods to introduce the subject or fully integrate the materials into the classroom throughout the year.

Our Homes, Our Lives, Ourselves: A Fun Book to Help Young People Get the Issues Right Concerning Women in Human Settlements Development
A booklet intended to help teenagers get an idea what it is like to be a woman. They do this by reading, thinking and investigating the role of women in various ways. The booklet includes a board game (‘The Game of Life’) and sections on finance, land, information, networking, and the environment.

Siniko. Towards a Human Rights Culture in Africa: A manual for teaching human rights (Amnesty International)
This manual is for teachers and educators in Africa who work with young people both in formal and non-formal education.

Study Guide on the Rights of Children & Youth
This guide introduces the main issues, international standards and protection mechanisms to protect and promote the human rights of children and youth.

International treaties on children’s rights:

Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)

Simplified version of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1999)
Useful links

Child Rights Information Network (CRIN)

Commemoration of the Day of the African Child 2013 (African Union)

Day of the African Child (organisation)

Millennium Campaign

Right to Education Project


Ethics and Education – an important partnership

ETICO is a resource platform on ethics and corruption in education supported by UNESCO.

This is a timely initiative as we see reduced spending on education in a number of countries , yet more demands from the systems themselves, for more classrooms, more and better teaching and learning resources, improved and increased teacher professional development etc  so we cannot afford ‘loss’ through corruption. It is also important to show young people that ethics and education are intimately related.

Lack of integrity and unethical behaviour within the education sector are inconsistent with one of the main purposes of education: to produce ‘good citizens’ respectful of the law, human rights, and fairness. It is also incompatible with any strategy that considers
education as one of the principal means of fighting corruption.

Th e Drafting Committee of the World Education Forum has expressed
this concern in the following terms: ‘Corruption is a major drain on
the effective use of resources for education and should be drastically
curbed’.(UNESCO. 2000. Dakar Framework for Action. Education for All: Meeting our Collective Commitments. Adopted by  the World Education Forum, Dakar, Senegal, 26–28 April 2000. Extended commentary on the Dakar Action Plan (para. 46).

Some topics and resources included on the website:

Building capacities

In addition to knowledge production and management, ETICO also provides guidance and country level support on corruption issues in education by offering access to relevant instruments, standards, and services that bolster country capacities, including:


Plans for the improvement of the quality of education often focus on quantitative data like number of teachers by age/grade/status/level of qualifications and pupils/teacher ratios, rather than on ‘intangible inputs’. These ‘intangible inputs’, such as transparent systems for collecting and disseminating information, and professional and ethical commitments of teachers and staff, are however crucial to the delivery of quality education.

J. Hallak and M. Poisson

The above quote refers to the development of Teacher codes of conduct.

Research has shown that teacher codes can be an effective instrument for promoting ethics in education. However, their implementation sometimes proves difficult due to – among other variables – limited access, unclear content, and inadequate teacher training, as shown in IIEP’s research in South Asia.


Planning and management

Corruption may be found in all areas of educational planning and management – school financing, recruitment, promotion and appointment of teachers, building of schools, supply and distribution of equipment and textbooks, admission to universities, and so on.

Areas of potential corruption:

Finance and allocation of specific allowances e.g.  Leakage of funds,Collection of illegal fees;

Teacher management and behaviour e.g. Ghost teachers,Fraud in the appointment and deployment of staff , Private tutoring;

Examinations and diplomas  e.g. Examination fraud

Institution accreditation  e.g. Fraud in the accreditation proces

Information systems e.g. Manipulating data, Irregularity in producing and publishing information

Source: adapted from Hallak and Poisson, 2007.

As shown above, within each of the planning/management areas corrupt practices can take many forms, including embezzlement, bypassing of criteria, and favouritism. Manipulation of information and statistical data are among the concerns that cut across all of these areas.

Our children deserve better than learning these tricks first hand from their ‘carers’ and those responsible for their education.

In order to reduce such practices, particular attention must be paid to integrating anti-corruption issues into education planning, with an in-depth examination of risk analysis, definition of clear norms and standards, setting up of transparent procedures, development of management capacities, better access to information, etc.

New publication on achieving transparency in pro-poor education incentives:

Ensuring children in the poorest communities aren’t robbed of their basic right to a good quality education.




Teenage, Married, and Out of School

Working in Tanzania provides stark evidence of cultural practices which reduce the opportunities for young girls to continue in education after primary school. In Shinyanga province, for example, teachers may get threatened if they are trying hard to get the girls through the primary leaving exam. That is right, trying hard  for the girls to gain success at the end of primary.


If they pass, they are expected, by law, to continue into secondary school, which may mean they lose a suitor and the family may not get cows -and thus forced into poverty.

So stakes are high…..more information in the following report..

Teenage, Married, and Out of School: Effects of Early Marriage and Childbirth on School Dropout




Over the past decade, as Sub-Saharan Africa saw the expansion of universal primary enrollment policies, gender balance in primary school participation improved considerably, with girls now attending school almost at the same rate as boys. Gains in primary school, however, have not carried over to secondary: for every 100 boys, only 82 girls of secondary school age are enrolled across the region, up from 80 in the year 2000. Using recent household survey data from nine East and Southern African countries, this paper examines one possible reason for this persistent gender disparity; the effects of early marriage and pregnancy, and finds that marital status has a strong negative impact on school attendance. It also finds age and wealth effects on early marriage and school attendance among young women, and in an in-depth analysis of data from Malawi, both early marriage and to a lesser extent early pregnancy impact enrollment. These findings suggest that policies which specifically target girls who are at risk for early marriage and pregnancy, such as the Malawi readmission policy, rather than those aimed at girls education more generally, are likely to have a stronger impact.

To read the full report, please click here.

Education in Emergencies – is it important?

Hear it From the Children:

Why Education in Emergencies is Critical

NRC and Save the Children

Children, parents and community leaders affected by armed conflict say education is a number one priority after they have reached safety or violence has died down, says a new study by Save the Children and the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Worldwide, millions of children affected by armed conflict are being denied the opportunity to go to school. During armed fighting, children and young people are exposed to serious violations. They risk being recruited into armed groups or join them voluntarily when they see this as the only option available; they are exposed, sometimes recurrently, to severe forms of violence, including sexual violence, as well as to early marriage; or they are deprived of a childhood when the situation forces them into adult roles in order to survive and cope.

The study “Hear it from the Children” presents the voices of over 250 children, parents, teachers and community representatives who were severely affected by conflict and who are living in Masisi, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or who sought shelter in Dollo Ado camp, Ethiopia. Their message is clear: education is a number one priority.

To read the full report, please click here.

World Environment Day 2014 – Raise your voice


World Environment Day 2014 – Raise your voice………….not the sea level!




Climate Change

The global sea level has risen by about 10 to 25 cm. (up to about 10 inches) over the last 100 years.

Sea level rise is attributable to global warming. Humanity’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are leading to changes in climatic patterns. The most harmful GHG emitted by human activity — carbon dioxide — accounts for 85% of the increase in the Earth’s temperature in the past ten years.

When you save energy you reduce the use of fossil fuels –coal — oil and gas– the greatest source of human carbon dioxide output. Simple steps to reduce your carbon footprint—like turning off lights and appliances when not

in use, switching to compact fluorescents, carpooling or biking — can help. Find out more about how to take action.

Here are more facts:

Small island stories:
Micronesia Challenge: An Inspiring Movement
palau-koror_stuart-chape2In 2006, in the midst of increasing global threats such as climate change, the drastic decline of biodiversity and the extreme vulnerability of small island nations, Heads of Government across Micronesia challenged not only themselves but also the international community, to step up and exceed the conservation targets set by international conventions and treaties. 

Marine Conservation in the Caribbean


The Caribbean Challenge Initiative’s (CCI) aims are to preserve and protect the region’s marine and coastal environment, as well as accelerate efforts to transition to renewable energy. CCI’s “20 by 20 Goal” targets the protection of at least 20% of the Caribbean’s marine and coastal environment by 2020. Nine Caribbean governments and 17 corporations have together made a series of bold commitments towards these aims.

Read more stories on UNDP……

From Cultural Survival


Every 5th of June is a day used by the United Nations to stimulate worldwide awareness of environmental issues and encourages political action.


Herakles Farms, a US company, has been chopping down miles of dense forest in Cameroon without the full authority to do so — and in the face of desperate pleas and resistance from local communities.

The palm oil project will also destroy precious chimpanzee and forest elephant habitat if it goes ahead.

In February, Herakles began clear-cutting trees with an illegal permit in hand. The permit also allows the illicit timber to be sold on international markets. And this is all happening with the complicity of the Cameroonian Ministry of Forests and the full knowledge of the European Union (EU).

We must act fast. The illegal timber is now in port, leaving for markets in China any day now — our window to stop the trade is closing.

Act Now through Greenpeace International. Tell Cameroonian authorities to seize the timber before it leaves the country.


What can you do?         Think.discuss.…..ACT.